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How to Show Recycle Bin in File Explorer on Windows 10

Windows 10 tried to simplify matters for us but in the process some basic amenities were overlooked. This has proven to be a big challenge for new Windows 10 users. While there is still some familiarity with Windows 7, Windows 10 still has that newish feel to it. For example, at the first instance the Recycle Bin may not be visible to you. This does not mean that it is not there; it’s very much present. Still, to be able to access or use the Recycle Bin there are a few things you have to do from your end first. Sometimes you may need to recover deleted files back to your PC. Whether intentionally or otherwise, the Recycle Bin has you covered in this aspect. That is why it is still a very vital Windows component. You do not have to fiddle about in your system to locate the Recycle Bin any more.

In Windows 10 there are two proven ways through which you can add the Recycle Bin to the navigation pane in File Explorer:

  • Editing the system registry
  • The “Show all folders” method

Method 1: Editing the System Registry

To open the Registry Editor, press and hold WINDOWS Key + R.

In the Run dialog that pops up, type regedit.exe or just regedit and click OK.

If Windows combination keys are not your preference there is another way through which you can access the system registry. Just click on the start menu and type regedit in the search box. It will appear among the results. Click/tap it to open it.

Once open, expand the first folder labeled HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Select the entry CLSID and then click on the label {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}. Under this folder select ShellFolder. In the space in the window on your right, right click and select New DWORD in the dropdown menu. Name it like this: System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree. On the Value reading, set it to 1.

In case your computer runs on a 64 – bit Windows 10 software just follow the steps above but for the registry key

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder

Now restart your PC. Once you click on the File Explorer you will see the Recycle Bin at the bottom. If for some reason you want to remove the Recycle Bin icon, just navigate to the new DWORD that you created and set the value to 0.

Method 2: The “Show all folders” method

This is simpler than the first method. The above method is recommended though; because only you will be able to add/remove the Recycle Bin icon by virtue of knowing which registry keys you edited. When you open any folder File Explorer, you will notice that the bar on the left side (the one with Network, Computer, Homegroup, Libraries and Favorites links) is devoid of the Recycle Bin.

To bring up the Recycle Bin,  Click View -> Navigation Pane -> Show All Folders. Immediately you will notice some visible alterations in the layout of the sidebar. You will see links to the Recycle Bin and Control Panel. You can opt to leave it there, or drag it up the Favorites; from where you can access it directly henceforth. You are good to go.

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If you want the Explorer layout to revert to its original appearance, yet again right click on an empty space on the left sidebar. The previous display will return but here’s the trick: you can still access the Recycle Bin from your “Favorites” folder!

One Comment

  1. Appreciate the tip but unfortunately it makes the navigation pane way too cluttered. You might think it’s silly but it’s is in my top 5 reasons to delay the eventual upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10. I just want Recycle Bin visible on the desktop via file explorer.

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How to Show Recycle Bin in File Explorer on Windows 10

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